All bloggers want more traffic to their site. Unfortunately many bloggers think the only way to do this is to pay someone. Through paid SEO or pay per click or banner ads and the like many bloggers pay out much more money than they need to for the opportunity to have people come to their site.
However there are alternatives to paid traffic. Organic traffic is the natural way to get in new readers and best of all if you do it yourself it won’t cost you a thing. Here are a few ways that you can use organic methods to increase traffic to your blog:
A good niche
The first thing you should do when you want to increase your traffic organically is to make sure your blog has a niche. A niche is a core topic around which all your blogs posts fit. This should be specific enough to keep readers interested, but general enough for you to have plenty to write on. Where ‘cats’ is way too generic to get anyone’s attention, ‘calico cats with one ear’ is a little too specific. You should pick something that is both specific and wide ranging.
Have a goal
After you figure out what your blog’s niche topic is then you should decide upon a goal for your blog. Do you want to make a certain amount of money? Do you want to see x amount of this product or get x number of new customers? Do you want to get in five hundred new readers a month? Once you find out what your goal is you can plan a way to work towards that. Without a goal you are directionless and all your efforts will be unfocused and wasted. Get a goal first and then work.
Know your audience
Once you have a goal in mind and a plan to get there then do your research. Who is your target audience? What do they search for? What do they read and talk about? You can’t hope to get more traffic if you do not know who you are attracting. Once you know the who the how will fall into place.
Okay, so now you know what your topic is, what you want to do with your blog and who is reading it (or who you want to read it). When you picked a target audience you should have also made note of what they were interested in. There are many programs online that can help get you this information such as keywords and phrases that are searched by your target audience. Once you know the keywords integrate them into your blog posts and blog post titles. Do not do keyword packing, which is for computers not people. Instead, just make a mental note of what you should include and try to write something that an actual person would like to read. You will find it quite easy to do as long as you know what to start with.
Now on to the content itself. As they say, content is king. If you do not have content on your blog then search engines and real people alike will not come to it. You need to have substantial content of five hundred words or more per post and you also need to update regularly. Updating your blog is the surest way to get and keep your audience. As for the length your posts should be long enough to keep the search engines happy (around five hundred words or more) and short enough to not bore your readers (under two thousand words).
Next we will talk about something that is frequently overlooked by bloggers too consumed with SEO to remember that real people are your target audience. Readability is key to an organic blog. I have seen so many blogs that have the text almost the same color as the background. How do you expect a person to read that? Either that or they have ads everywhere, chunks of text broken up haphazardly, weird scrolling things that cover up text as you read, and so on. No, no, no! Think about what you look for in a blog. You want to be able to read the text easily, get anywhere fast and just generally have it be an organic experience. To do this in your blog, try to keep your text short and to the point. Break up long paragraphs into shorter ones. Make lists or bullet points so readers can scan it. Try to have fun with your writing also. No one wants to read a dictionary. Try to be human and relatable. Blogs are informational at times, but they are also supposed to be fun to read.
Images and multimedia
No one wants to look at pages and pages of text. That is just plain boring. Break it up with images and multimedia. There are tons of places that you can find great stock photos for free or low prices like Freedigitalphotos.com. You can also make your own videos or infographics to include on your blog. Today almost every laptop comes with a camera and microphone so you can make your own video, use a movie maker to make an animated film, or just upload one to your blog from YouTube.
If you have Photoshop or another art program you can make your own infographic around your blog’s niche topic or link to one on another site. Anyway you go about it, these will add a pop of color and excitement to your blog. You will also get traffic from image searches and people are more likely to read a blog post with an image than one without.
If people can’t get around in your blog easily then they won’t stick around. Make sure your blog is easy to navigate and you do not have too many buttons or widgets. Instead make it as simple and easy to use as possible. If you want people to stay in your blog and come back every once in a while then make your blog a positive experience for them and not a pain in the neck.
Another great way to get people to your blog organically is to guest post. Guest posting works because each party gets something out of it. The blogger that allows guest posts gets free quality content that they can control. The guest poster gets exposure to that blog’s audience and also a link on that blog site. Links like that work well in two ways. First, real readers can come check out your blog because they like your writing. Secondly search engines like it when a blog has links to it because that tells them that you are an ‘authority’ on something. Guest posting can be a great way to both lift your search engine rankings and get more traffic directly.
Last but not least is the community. Bloggers are a great community to get involved in. Most of them want to help out their fellow blogger so that everyone can be successful. You can get new readers in by commenting thoughtfully on other people’s blogs. You can also give your time or ad space to not for profit services like disaster relief and in exchange a link to your blog, and maybe even an ad for your blog, will appear on their site. That can get you exposure to lots of new readers who typically would never have come across your blog. By making friends and helping out you can get your blog’s name out there and new readers pouring in.
These are just a few of the ways that you can organically get more traffic to your blog. If you are currently paying out the nose for ads, banners and the like why not try the organic way? You might be surprised at how well it works. Keep in mind that organic is also slower, but more consistent. Because you are focusing on the long term it takes a while to pay off but it is not subject to fads and gimmicks. That means the traffic you get will stay with you no matter what changes the search engines make. Happy blogging!
Image courtesy of zirconicusso / FreeDigitalPhotos.net